The Bhartiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance currently seems to be grappling with discontent among its coalition partners. Recently, the Shiv Sena announced its partition with the BJP in Maharashtra. Now, the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has also threatened to walk out of the coalition.
Ahead of the Union Budget 2018, Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP party chief Chandrababu Naidu had made many demands from the Centre for additional funds for the state. The party was, however, disappointed with the final allocations.
The ties between the two parties have gotten worse in three years, ever since Andhra Pradesh was denied the special state status and the Polavaram project funding was found inadequate by the state government. After the budget, relations have gone further downhill.
After the Budget was presented in the Parliament, Naidu had said: “I am sticking to the coalition dharma and keeping quiet. I am also restraining my colleagues from speaking out against the BJP. But if they do not want us, I will say namaste and walk away. This is no way to treat a coalition partner.”
Naidu had even called for a meeting with senior party members, where he asked them to put pressure on the centre and highlight our issues, even if it meant getting thrown out of the Parliament.
Senior TDP leader Y S Chowdary was hopeful of some response from the centre within a few days. “The CM has issued some guidelines to party MPs on how to bring to the Centre’s attention to the state, including protests in Parliament. That is our strategy right now.”
The state has been struggling with a dearth of funds ever since Hyderabad went to Telangana. Andhra Pradesh government has claimed that ever since the division of the state, they have not received enough funds and incentives for Andhra Pradesh.